The Brand You 50 (Reinventing Work) : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!
Michael Goldhaber, writing in Wired, said, "If there is nothing very special about your work, no matter how hard you apply yourself you won't get noticed and that increasingly means you won't get paid much either. In times past you could be obscure yet secure -- now that's much harder."Again: the white collar job as now configured is doomed. Soon. ("Downsizing" in the nineties will look like small change.) So what's the trick There's only one: distinction. Or as we call it, turning yourself into a brand...Brand You.A brand is nothing more than a sign of distinction. Right Nike. Starbucks. Martha Stewart. The point (again): that's not the way we've thought about white collar workers -- ourselves -- over the past century. The "bureaucrat" on the finance staff is de facto faceless, plugging away, passing papers.But now, in our view, she is born again, transformed from bureaucrat to the new star. She works in a professional service firm and works on projects that she'll be able to brag about years from now.Step
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September 21, 1999
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Excerpt from The Brand You 50 (Reinventing Work) by Tom Peters
The yogurt is hitting the fan. With a roaring kerplunk. And few (none?) will escape unscathed. The White Collar Revolution gathers way. Fast. Job security -- as we've known it -- vanishes.
So . . . what now?
My answer: Return to Job Security! (Not the answer you expected, I bet.) But it's New Job Security. Or, actually, Very Old New Job Security. It's what job security was all about before -- long before! -- Big Corp. Before Social Security. And unemployment insurance. Before there was a big so-called safety net that had the unintended consequence of sucking the initiative, drive, and moxie out of millions of white collar workers.
I'm talking about job security in the Colonies and in the first century after our country was founded. Which was:
Craft = Marketable Skill. Distinction = Memorable. Networking Skills = Word of Mouth Collegial Support.
It's as old as the colonial blacksmith. (And his modern counterpart, the housepainter. Or local CPA.) As new as Hollywood. Or the peripatetic Web programmers in their apartments in San Francisco or Austin or Raleigh-Durham . . . or Tahiti.
It's about being so damn good and meticulous and responsible about what you do (and making sure that what you do is work that needs to be done) that the world taps a T1-speed path to your PC.
My modern-language (a.k.a. Peters-Speak) term for this ancient, self-reliant, networked, word-of-mouth-dependent, distinguished craftsperson: Brand You.
I'm a believer in Branding. Guided, as I often am, by adman David Ogilvy, I don't think brands are marketing flimflam. The consumer is not an idiot. You can't, by and large, brand crap. And -- per Ogilvy -- you're a damn fool if you don't brand good stuff: iMACs or Ziplocs or a cool setting for drinking coffee, called Starbucks.
A brand is a "trust mark." It's shorthand. It's a sorting device.